By academic dishonesty we mean presenting, as your own work, material
produced by or in collaboration with others, or permitting or assisting
others to present your work as their own without proper acknowledgement.
Courses involving computer programming require special consideration
because use of the computer permits easy copying and trivial modification
of programs. The following guidelines are provided to help in determining
if an incident of academic dishonesty has occurred.
- The instructor may suspect a student of program plagiarism if
the student submits a program that is so similar to the program
submitted by a present or past student in the course that the
solutions may be converted to one another by a simple mechanical
transformation. When looking at possible mechanical transformations,
commenting is excluded.
- The instructor may suspect a student of cheating, whether on
a program or an examination, if the student cannot explain both
the details of his or her solution and the techniques or principles
used to generate that solution.
It should be clear that there is latitude for difference among
individual instructors, particularly in the matter when working
with other students or adapting material from a textbook is permissible.
Examples of Academic Honesty and Dishonesty
Here are some examples of academic honesty and dishonesty in computer
science. These are just examples; obviously it would be impossible
to produce a complete list that would cover every possible set of
You are acting honestly if you
- Have permission to collaborate with other students on a project,
and you list all collaborators
- Receive advice from instructors, tutors or staff members in
- Share knowledge with other students about syntax errors, coding
tricks or other language-specific information that makes programming
- Engage, with other students, in a general discussion of the
nature of an assignment, the requirements for an assignment, or
general implementation strategies
- Engage, with other students, in discussion of course concepts
or programming strategies in preparation for an assignment or
- Copy code and cite its source on assignments for which the instructor
allows inclusion of code other than your own
You are acting dishonestly if, unless specifically authorized
by the instructor, you
- Turn in the work of any other person (former students, friends,
textbook authors, people on the Internet, etc.) and represent
it as your own work
- Knowingly permit another person to turn in your work as his
or her own work
- Copy material (code, documentation, etc.) from the work of another
- Deliberately transform borrowed sections of code or other material
in order to disguise their origins
- Fabricate compilation or execution results, representing a program
that did not compile properly as one that did, or one that did
not execute properly as one that did
- Collaborate with another person(s) on a project and fail to
inform the instructor of this
- Steal or obtain examinations, answer keys, or program samples
from the instructors' files or computer directories
- Use unauthorized materials during an open-book or closed-book
examination, or communicate during an examination in an unauthorized
way with another person
- Modify or delete another student's or an instructor's computer
Collaboration on Homework Assignments
The following general policy on cooperation on homework assignments
|In all circumstances it is acceptable to discuss the meaning
of assignments and general approaches and strategies for handling
those assignments. Any cooperation beyond that point, including
shared pseudocode or flowcharts, shared code, or shared documentation,
is only acceptable if specifically so permitted by the class
The policy described for programming projects gives you a good
idea of our general philosophy about collaboration. For problem
sets (homework problems), we have similar expectations about academic
integrity but there are some differences in the ground rules:
- The problem sets must be completed individually (you cannot
hand in a joint solution with a partner)
- We strongly encourage you to discuss and work the problems with
other students. A group of two or three probably is best, any
larger and it can be hard for all people to participate effectively.
It is allowed to sit down and work though the problems on scratch
paper or a blackboard. Set the goal of the joint work to be that
everyone participating fully understands the concepts and techniques
being used to solve the problem. Teach and learn from each other!
- When the time comes to write up the solutions, the group should
separate and without referring to the jointly prepared notes each
student must write up their own solution to hand in. The requirement
about not referring to/copying the joint work is to ensure that
each of you completely understands the material and is able to
independently generate a solution from your own understanding.
You'll need this skill for exams, too!
- Your submitted solution should credit any student with whom
you worked/discussed problems.
- A good rule of thumb is that you must be able to explain and
duplicate all the steps in any work you submit.
Penalty for Academic Dishonesty
Each instructor sets the sanctions for academic dishonesty in their class.
They range from a lowered grade for the project or exam to an F for the course.
The College has procedures, as outlined in Siena
Life, for dealing with Academic dishonesty. Students who commit such acts
expose themselves to punishments as severe as dismissal from the College.
Finally, use your common sense. If you suspect that what you are
about to do is a violation, play it safe and ask a faculty member
first rather than take risks with your academic career.
Academic integrity is taken very seriously in this department and
we have no tolerance for behavior that falls outside our boundaries
for acceptable conduct. Please do your part in maintaining a community
where academic work is done with a high standard of integrity!